I haven't commented on any those Letters to the Editor in a while, but I saw one today I thought was silly enough to merit my opinion.
Saw this letter in today New York Post's "Sound Off" sports column:
Manny being money
If the Yankees sign Manny Ramirez, I can't wait to see him in pinstripes. Manny will be Manny, and if the Yankees can adjust, he will help get them into the World Series. He hit .399 for the Dodgers in less than half a season, and put a mediocre Dodgers team in the playoffs. Alex Rodriguez will really profit from Ramirez hitting after him, which is where I think manager Joe Girardi would bat him to get the most out of both players. The Red Sox will experience the "Curse of Manny," which just began when they traded him halfway through last season. They will regret that move for some years, and will probably miss the World Series in the coming years.
"The Curse of Manny?" Good lord, here we go with more Yankee fan obsessions with "curses." Sure most agree Ramirez is one of the best righthanded hitters of his generation, but the fact the Sox were will to dump him on the trading deadline for less than his full value tells you what a cancer he was, and the fact that just about everyone of his teammates told Theo Epstein one day before the deadline he had to go. In past years when the rumors of Manny going were strong, his teammates mostly supported his staying. Not this time.
And the fact that the Red Sox knew he could become a free agent in 2009 and go to the Yankees didn't faze Red Sox management. Ramirez' time in Boston was over, and a divorce was best for all involved.
Insulting the ownership, shoving down the 64-year-old travelling secretary, the Sox simply had enough. This doesn't absolve ownership, who put up with his bullshit for years without as much as a suspension when it was merited. And this is just the stuff we know about. I'm sure there's more behind the scenes stuff the Red Sox management put up with that the general public isn't aware of.
And the fact that teams aren't exactly busting down his door to sign him should tell you something. His price tag is high (with Boras as an agent that's no surprise) but everyone is proceeding with caution. The Yankees know all about the crap he's pulled, and Brian Cashman is no fan his. Ramirez will get his big contract from someone, and the first time he dogs it to first or claims he can't play because his knee is aching will soon get his new fans wondering, "what did we get ourselves into with this guy?"
Funny how Ramirez had no "aching knees" in Los Angeles last summer, did he? He was a good boy because he was becoming a free agent so he could get his last big payday in 2009, so don't be fooled by his numbers or attitude in his short time in L.A.
By the way, letter-writer, did you notice that from August 1 to the end of last season, the Red Sox had the second-best record in baseball, and Terry Francona was more relaxed and called it "the funnest months" of last year? All because Ramirez and his black cloud were gone. The Red Sox have built up a solid foundation for their future, especially when it comes to pitching. Pitching is far more important in the long run. You think the Red Sox will miss the World Series in coming years because they traded Manny? They missed the 2008 World Series by just one game without him. It's a miracle they got as far as they did last season, with injuries to key players like Josh Beckett, Mike Lowell, Jonathan Papelbon, and Jed Lowrie. (A healthy Beckett or Lowell alone would have put the Red Sox in the Series. Without Ramirez.)
Many have wondered if the Sox could have won the World Series if Ramirez had stayed. A better question is: would the Red Sox have even made the playoffs had Ramirez stayed? Can't answer that for sure, but my feeling is no. The Sox had sputtered so much with the Manny Ramirez distraction that getting rid of him when they did actually did saved the Red Sox 2008 season. And they got a quality player in Jason Bay (at a good salary) in return. Is he as good as Ramirez? No, but who is?
You want Ramirez? Fine, take him. Be careful what you wish for letter-writer...
Yet again, here's another Yankee fan dragging up "curses." Boy, these fans just can't resist using the "c" word when it comes to the Red Sox, can they? As we all know, it was Yankee fans who were obsessed with curses. But then again, Yankee fans have another "c" word they have to deal with, and deal with forever as well.
They still haven't gotten over the historic "choke" job their team pulled four years ago. And they probably never will.